Censoring the Net
Vol: 56 Issue: 23 Tuesday, May 23, 2006
My favorite internet search engine is Google. I’ve been impressed with the company’s product ever since it came online. Indeed, it is just about the only search engine I use . . . or at the very least, it is the first one that I query.
I was pretty excited when Google accepted the Omega Letter for inclusion in the Google news crawler, as well. Google is the internet’s single largest search engine.
Then Google’s executives abandoned the company’s motto of ‘do no evil’ (which, by the way, is also a Satanist slogan) and began using its monopoly to advance their own private agenda.
Google began by censoring Christian advertising. Stand to Reason, a nonprofit apologetics organization, had its “AdWord” advertisement on Google pulled, after Google executives deemed the organization promoted ‘hate’ because of its negative position on homosexuality.
In an emailed reply to a query by ‘Stand to Reason’s’ owner, Google explained it had determined the ad was hate speech based on its own criteria, before denying its action constituted ‘censorship’.
“Google believes strongly in freedom of expression. We therefore offer broad access to content across the Web without censoring results. Please note that the decisions we make concerning advertising in no way affect the search results we deliver.”
However, if you website has content that Google’s overseers don’t like, Google removes the website from its search engine. Arguing that isn’t censorship is like arguing a guest worker program isn’t amnesty — it only works if you redefine the word to mean something else.
An article on Google censorship in Worldnetdaily pointed out that while Google censors anti-homosexual web content as ‘hate speech’ it has zero problems with promoting internet porn. If one types the word ‘Jew’ into Google’s search engine, the second return (I tried it) to come up is for an incredibly anti-semitic website entitled, “Jew Watch”.
The website bears the following disclaimer on its home page: “This is NOT a hate site. This is a scholarly research archive of articles. We Achieved 5 Million Hits Last Year.”
A couple of sample headlines? “Vicious Israeli Soldiers Kill Innocent Palestinian Woman;” “The Incredible Shrinking Palestine;” and, “Jewish Communists Caused Many Troubles in Germany, Including the Rise of Hitler As A Reaction to Their Anti-German Politics.”
Google doesn’t think that ‘Jew Watch’ is a hate site. It thinks Christian websites are, however. And while it decries censorship officially, it made big headlines earlier this year when it cut a deal with the Communist Chinese government to censor content. And once again, it denied charges of censorship, leading one to wonder what they use for dictionaries in Silicon Valley.
Google admits to omitting some news sources within China, but the firm says this is meant to improve the quality of the service.
“In order to create the best possible news search experience for our users, we sometimes decide not to include some sites, for a variety of reasons,” says a statement issued by the company. “These sources were not included because their sites are inaccessible.”
Google rejected a conservative group, “RightMarch.com” from running an anti-Nancy Pelosi ad, saying Google “does not permit ad text that advocates against an individual, group or organization.”
In point of fact, “RightMarch” ran the ad as a test. It took an ad on Google slamming Tom Delay, took out Delay’s name and inserted Nancy Pelosi’s. That was the only change they made.
Google blocked an advertisement for a book called, “Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine.” The ads were rejected, without further explanation, due to “unacceptable content.”
Worldnetdaily conducted an investigation and concluded that 98% of all political donations made by Google employees went to support Democrats.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave the maximum legal limit of donations to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry and to primary candidate Howard Dean.
In another example, “ChristianExodus.org, a group looking to have like-minded people move ‘to one state to help restore godly values to government, says it’s been rejected from placing ads on Google AdSense.
Google explained the rejection in an email;
“After reviewing your application, our program specialists have found that it does not comply with our policies,” the Google AdSense Team wrote. “We have reviewed your site and found that many of the ads that would appear on your site would not be relevant to your site’s content. As the ads would not provide a valuable experience for your site’s users or our advertisers, we feel that your site isn’t a good fit for the AdSense program at this time.”
The internet has never been particularly friendly toward Christians, but so far, Christians have managed to carve out a presence, despite the obstacles.
Very few Christian websites are even able to generate enough revenue to cover expenses, let alone generate a profit. But internet porn is a multi-billion dollar industry. Porn sites are the most profitable sites on the net — which is why there are so many of them.
It is also why Google is so fearless when denying conservative or Christian sites, while porn sites, anti-semitic sites or anti-Christian sites can pretty much dictate their own terms to Google.
So far, the Omega Letter has escaped Google’s censors, mainly because part of our content is behind our subscriber firewall. But it is only a matter of time before somebody calls us to Google’s attention.
What I find interesting about it is the fact that, even on the allegedly ‘wide-open, free-wheeling’ internet, nobody seems to care about censorship, provided they share the censor’s point of view. Internet censorship seems to fall into the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) category.
One cannot advertise a Christian site that opposes homosexuality, but it is perfectly acceptable to advertise gay porn sites. Anti-Islamic websites are ‘hate speech’ but anti-semitic sites like ‘Jew Watch’ get top placement on Google’s return page.
And “evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2nd Timothy 3:13)